Nate Pyle’s article “Seeing a Woman: A conversation between a father and son” offers a lot of good advice, and there is much to glean from what he has said, but I think that Nate’s response falls short of being truly biblical. Yes, as Nate reminds us, men are absolutely responsible for their own sins and cannot blame their sinful choices on the women around them no matter what women do or do not do, wear or do not wear, etc… Men blaming women for their sinful choices began in the garden of Eden (Ge. 3:12) and sadly continues to this very day. Nate, very appropriately, address this poor excuse for a man’s choice to sin. Yes, godly men need to see women as a whole person created and loved by God rather than objectifying them and Nate’s advice on maintaining eye contact is one good way for men to remember this. However, one of the lies being told to our culture today is that that the way a woman dresses should not be a temptation to sin and unfortunately the church today has too frequently bought into this lie. When women dress immodestly, it really can be a source of temptation for the men around her (something we all intuitively know) and sometimes the right answer for a man is not to stay in the presence of that temptation and maintain eye contact, the right answer is to flee (1 Co. 6:18, Pr. 5, etc…). We should not expect women, who have not made a commitment to follow Christ, to dress or act in ways that honor God. Godly men should be prepared to face temptation and know when to stand strong in its presence and when to flee. However, we really should expect women, who are followers of Christ, to dress and act in ways that brings honor to him (1 Ti.2:9-10) and the church has failed our women when we refuse to discuss this topic.
Additionally, Nate tells us that we should “Encourage [a woman’s] confidence. But don’t do all this because she is weaker. That’s the biggest bunch of crap out there. Women are not weaker than men. They are not the weaker sex. They are the other sex” (emphasis his). While it is true that the idea that “women are the weaker sex” has far too often been overplayed, there is truth to this statement (1 Pe. 3:7) that we should not ignore. It is not “the biggest bunch of crap out there.” It is biblical! Being the weaker sex does not mean that women have any greater propensity to sin than do men nor does it mean they are inferior, these are lies that has been perpetuated far too often throughout history. It does mean that women are typically physically and emotionally weaker (a politically incorrect idea, I know) and men do have a responsibility to be protective of the women around them (both physically and emotionally) because that is the role God has given men. Unfortunately, our culture (even in the Church) has bought into the lie that equality and sameness are identical ideas, they are not. In striving for sameness, women have lost the place of dignity and honor they deserve and once had in generations past. While the feminist movement brought about many corrections that were desperately needed, it has also taken away many things away that women of our generation deserve and desperately need today. In the church, we need to remember to call our men to be godly men and our women to be godly women even when the call to godliness is counter to the culture around us; our standard is God’s word. Neither sex is responsible for the sins of the opposite sex but both sexes have a responsibility to love, honor, and build up the whole body of Christ.